This thing is a joke and shows what a weak case the prosecution has.
It reveals nothing that was not already in the public domain, and the affidavit does not even attempt to address the evidence already known to contradict the Martin narrative. For starters, it makes a big deal about Zimmerman’s “profiling.” This is not illegal. He can think what he wants, call the cops when he wants, and ask whomever he wants what they’re doing in his neighborhood. Not only is none of this illegal, but none of this implicates “stand your ground,” which is a nonissue in this case, as Zimmerman claims he was on the floor getting pounded to death after being suckerpunched by Martin and, in addition, that the struggle came to be over the gun he lawfully had on his person. No possibility of retreat there, and thus no “stand your ground” issue. Traditional self defense law never required one to “avoid all confrontation” or “not ask questions” or “not think evil thoughts” as implied by the irresponsible Angela Corey’s affidavit.
The worst part of this affidavit centers on the physical confrontation Zimmerman and Martin had. This is the heart of the matter. Under the law of self defense, it is highly relevant who initiated force, how much force was used, and what the situation was immediately before Zimmerman pulled the trigger. Instead, we get “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.” This is so deliberately unclear as to suggest the totality of physical and eyewitness evidence points in favor of Zimmerman’s account.
The affidavit is equally weak with respect to the mens rea components, i.e., the defendant’s mental state. Second degree murder requires intentional unpremeditated killing or killing with a depraved mind not showing regard for human life. Manslaughter is killing through “culpable negligence” or, alternately, “[w]hoever shall unnecessarily kill another, either while resisting an attempt by such other person to commit any felony, or to do any other unlawful act, or after such attempt shall have failed, shall be deemed guilty of manslaughter . . .” So, when you have a fight or someone suspecting another of crime, that use of force may be illegal or potentially legal, but only if nondeadly. If in the course of such a fight your use of deadly force is unreasonable, unnecessary, or disproportionate, it can be a case of manslaughter. Man shoves you and calls you a jerk, and you shoot him: not justifiable deadly force. Nowhere in this affidavit is the usual requirement of showing intentional killing, depraved mind, or the other hallmarks of murder.
This affidavit is being released six weeks after this killing took place. Indeed, no eyewitnesses to the struggle are named, though the girlfriend and mother of Trayvon are given top billing. This, even though we know at least one real eyewitness, John, saw Zimmerman crying for help, underneath Martin, in a great deal of distress.
What a totalitarian world we live in where a completely reasonable suspicion of a stranger acting strangely coupled with some possible deviation from a 911 dispatcher’s instructions is treated as a real crime–when it’s not–and where Maritn’s alleged aggravated battery is only mentioned in the passive voice, i.e., “a struggle ensued.” I hope that a courageous judge dings this under Fla. Rule Crim. Pro. 3.113, which allows a probable cause determination within 21 days after an arrest by information or Rule 3.190, which allows a pretrial motion on the basis of the special immunity afforded under Florida’s self defense laws. In my experience, such courage is short supply.
Such diverse observers as Alan Dershowitz and former prosecutor Andrew MacCarthy have noted the grave defects in this affidavit. They all flow in my view from the same source: Special Prosecutor Corey’s deep identification with the Martin family–the sweet people with whom she prayed–as well as her identification with Trayvon Martin himself and the various agitators who have gathered around this case. She said at her strange press conference that she was seeking “justice for Travyon” even though, in a case like this, the question of justice must be a global one, justice simpliciter, as justice for Zimmerman depends a lot on the alleged bad acts of Trayvon that led to the shooting. In other words, by self consciously “seeking justice for Trayvon,” she already prejudged the most central event of this case.
According to Zimmerman’s account and that of the only eyewitness to the actual fistfight that preceded the shooting, it was Trayvon who started this and continued this as an aggressor. That makes Zimmeran’s acts self defense. Corey should be ashamed of herself for pursuing this case under these circumstances.